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Black Lawmakers from States Across the Country Are Meeting This Week
By Antonio Ray Harvey, California Black Media
Published December 2, 2020

Various state legislators, policy advocates, subject matter experts, and young emerging leaders from across the country will convene virtually for the National Black Conference of State Legislators’ (NBCSL) this week. It is the NBCSL’s 44th annual legislative conference and college fair. 

Members of the California Legislative Black Caucus — including the group’s chair Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) — are expected to attend. 

Assemblymember Dr. Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) (Photo Robert Maryland, CBM)

Hundreds are expected participate in the online meeting, which will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 30 through Dec. 5. Conference discussions will focus on how state leaders are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and finding solutions to the many challenges that exist as a result of the crisis. 

“Join us and tens of thousands just like you at the most extraordinary virtual summit in modern history,” said South Carolina House of Representatives’ member Gilda Cobb-Hunter, a Democrat and president of NBCSL. “NBCSL’s annual summit will empower you through education and training, encouraging you to lead, equipping you to work and empowering you to thrive. Make the rest of your life the best of your rights.” 

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Organizers say conference attendees will also learn about steps leaders around the country are taking to protect the Black community from police violence while tackling a myriad of social and environmental justice issues. 

The NBCSL is an organization that represents and serves the interests of African American State legislators. It serves as a national network, information exchange, advocate, and catalyst for public policy development as well as joint action on critical issues affecting African Americans and other marginalized communities. 

In addition, this year NBCSL partnered with S.A.V.E. — Students Advocating Vital Engagements — to launch the inaugural “S.A.V.E. Summit” on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5. S.A.V.E. is an organization that inspires young people to become civically engaged. 

S.A.V.E. members are looking forward to reaching out to about 100,000 young people participating in the NBCSL annual legislative conference. 

The S.A.V.E. Summit will present workshops with the help of experts and celebrities, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, former NBA player Metta World Peace and Gene Simmons of the heavy metal rock band KISS. Students interested in participating in the event, can register for free at SaveThatSeat.com

The 700-member NBCSL, representing more than 60 million Americans of various racial backgrounds, has worked over the last several years to include students in their programs as a means of giving them the tools to learn about and implement their civic duties. 

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During the summit, young people from around the country will shape public policy and promote positive social change. 

Through research, education, and advocacy, NBCSL strengthens its members and helps ensure their strong, effective, and influential voice on Capitol Hill. Get more information about NBCSL’s annual Legislative Conference. 

“Registration is free,” Cobb-Hunter said. “That means the only currency you’ll be spending is your time. So, spend it wisely.”

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